Seafood companies are not doing enough to protect human rights, new research has found.
The World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) second Seafood Stewardship Index indicates that even for those seafood companies who do have commitments to protect human and labour rights, these are not translating into action.
Helen Packer, lead Seafood Stewardship Index at WBA said: “It’s all well and good for companies to say they’re against practices such as forced-labour, but we need to see these words turn into action such as robust due diligence and grievance mechanisms to assess and address risks in both their operations and supply chain.”
Due diligence lacking
The majority (97%) of benchmarked companies lack a due diligence process – the most basic action that can be taken to start protecting their people. Only Thai Union Group, the number one company in the ranking, has demonstrated that it has a such a process in place to identify, assess and act on human rights risks and impacts in both its own operations and supply chain.
Moreover, of the 30 seafood companies assessed by WBA, only eight have commitments to monitor and ensure decent working and living conditions on-board vessels, a key issue in the industry, especially on distant water fishing fleets.
More environment progress
When it comes to environmental impact of fisheries and aquaculture, the Seafood Stewardship Index suggests that most companies are taking action, by trading products from sources that are certified or engaged in improvement projects. However, how much progress has been made is unclear due to imprecise reporting. For example, several companies do not disclose how much product is certified versus improving towards certification, which mean different levels of sustainability.
The 5 top performers in the Seafood Stewardship Index 2021 are Thai Union, Mowi, Nueva Pescanova, Nomad Foods and Nutreco.